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Tamil Nadu opposes NEET-like common entrance exam for engineering colleges

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The Economic Times | By ET Bureau |  Jan 13, 2017 |  Tamil Nadu opposes common entrance exam for engineering colleges  |

NEW DELHI: The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry’s ambitious plans for a common entrance exam for all engineering colleges and an exit exam for engineering graduates have suffered a jolt. Tamil Nadu has strongly objected to the move being ‘forced’ on the country by the Centre. At a special meeting of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) held in the capital on January 11, representatives of Tamil Nadu government expressed strong objection to the two proposals brought to the table. Tamil Nadu, in fact, is learned to have been the sole state opposing the move at the special meeting called for approving the two proposals. With Tami Nadu registering opposition and some others also chiming in soon after, HRD ministry and AICTE has now been forced to put the project on hold for now and start another round of consultations with all states to build consensus for the move. Tamil Nadu is learned to have argued that it believes that its academic system is rigorous enough and Class XII marks scored in the state board exams were a fairly reasonable eligibility criteria that captured the merit better for admission to all engineering colleges in the state as has been the case so far. The state conveyed at the meeting that it felt no reason to switch instead to a centralised entrance exam to determine admissions to engineering colleges in its states, sources told ET.

Chairman of AICTE Anil Sahasrabudhe confirmed that some participants had divergent views, so the move has been put on hold for now. “Tamil Nadu did raise some objections. But it was not just them. Some others also had some counter questions on the applicability of such an exam in rural segments. In general most people thought it a good idea but there were some different views as well. So it was decided to keep it on hold for now and hold further discussion,” Sahasrabudhe told ET.  The Prakash Javadekar-led HRD ministry had only recently come up with a proposal for a common engineering entrance exam similar to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical colleges. With over 3,000 engineering colleges in the country, the ministry has made a case for a single and standardised exam format for all engineering institutes- public and private- to ensure greater transparency in the admission process. At a recent meeting of all IIT Directors, it was also proposed that an ‘Exit Test’ be conducted to assess the ‘attainment levels in engineering’ of those graduating out of various engineering colleges in the country. –  Courtesy

Govt to hold talks with states over engg entrance – Prakash Kumar, Jan 13, 2017, New Delhi, DHNS,

Centre asks AICTE to chart out strategy for single test

The Centre will soon start a fresh bid to bring all the states on board to implement a long-standing proposal of holding a single entrance examination for admissions to engineering colleges.

The executive body of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) at its meeting on Wednesday decided to hold a “broader consultation” with the state governments on the issue to fulfil the demands of parents and students, official sources told DH.  The issue was taken up at the meeting after the human resource development (HRD) ministry asked the technical education regulator to chart out a strategy for holding a single entrance test for admission to engineering colleges.  “At the meeting, all members were convinced with the idea that it was necessary to hold a common entrance test for admissions to all technical institutes in the country to improve the quality of technical education. Unless all the states come on board, the proposal cannot be brought on the ground,” an official source said. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts Joint Entrance Examination-Main (JEE-Main) for admissions to the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other centrally funded technical institutes. For admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the joint admission board of the premier technical institutes holds JEE-Advance. Only six states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Odisha — currently accept the JEE-Main scores for admissions to the engineering colleges under them.

The Centre introduced JEE in 2012 as a common entrance test for admissions to centrally funded technical institutions during the previous UPA regime.  The initial proposal was to hold the test for admissions to all engineering colleges, but the HRD ministry had to drop the idea due to protests from the IITs. Buckling under pressure, the ministry had to agree to hold the test in two parts — JEE-Main and JEE-Advance.  The ministry’s renewed efforts to hold a single entrance test gained momentum after the implementation of the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges.  “It goes in the larger interest of parents and students if a common test for admissions to all engineering colleges could be held. But it seems to be an uphill task as the NEET could be brought in place only because of a Supreme Court order,” an IIT professor said. –  Courtesy

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